RIYADH: Any items supply firm could have a sinking feeling on the considered short-term storage, with most warehouse operators insisting on minimal volumes and contracts of at the very least a couple of months.
Logexa, a web-based logistics platform launched by Husam Sendi and his co-founders in September 2021, turned the issue on its head.
The corporate was born when the issue interfered with Sendi’s first shot at entrepreneurship.
After graduating from Oregon State College with a level in provide chain logistics, he reduce his tooth in the identical sector as a provide chain supervisor, first with FMCG distributor Unilever after which with Ohio-based industrial packaging agency Greif Worldwide.
With that hands-on expertise, Sendi launched his first startup in 2013, specializing in repackaging promotional retail gadgets, akin to a free bowl with a packet of noodles. His largest shopper was his ex-employer Unilever, and that contract folded up when Unilever in the reduction of its operations as a result of fallout from Brexit.
Sendi then moved into consultancy for transportation firms and, from there, expanded to storage providers and options for his earlier co-packaging shoppers. Nonetheless, the enterprise hit the wall when purple beetles contaminated his warehouse.
“I assumed that was the top of my enterprise and profession,” mentioned Sendi.
Options in retailer
However by no means one to say die, he continued to serve his remaining shoppers by way of his community of warehousing associates. That, in flip, gave him the thought to focus on storage options. Nonetheless, he was cautious of dedicating sources to warehouse area or human sources, each of which may pile up crippling overheads when a enterprise goes south.
“However in 2019, I heard about digital transformation,” Sendi mentioned. “I talked to a couple folks and explored the thought of digitalizing the present handbook warehousing course of. How a few program that accepts orders, collects cost and diverts orders to the warehouse?”
His concept rapidly gained the popularity of distinguished startup accelerators: first King Abdulaziz College, with a prize of SR10,000 ($2,665) after which the Taqadam program of King Abdullah College of Science and Know-how, with a grant of SR525,000.
Sendi’s fledgling startup was bolstered by the addition of Husam Sabano, an outdated Unilever colleague with an instructional background in industrial and techniques engineering, and Khalid Nagadi, who had a doctorate in industrial engineering and over a decade’s expertise in course of administration. Each of them got here on board as co-founders.
Thus Logexa was born in March 2021, with Sendi as CEO, Sabano as CTO and Khalid Nagadi as COO.
In reality, the COVID-19 pandemic turned out to be a blessing in disguise. As a result of all people was confined to their properties, the corporate averted the standard startup prices of hiring office-based employees.
“I might say we have been fortunate that we didn’t must mobilize. We have been all caught at house, and all of the work was on-line,” he mentioned.
Sendi invested the KAUST grant into tech growth and branding. The corporate was primarily based on a easy premise: aggregating pallet areas by way of tie-ups with warehouse operators, whereby it will probably supply momentary storage options to any entity that wants it — a enterprise mannequin generally known as third-party logistics.
“We determined to outsource all the operation, so we’ve zero belongings,” defined Sendi.
Logexa is an on-demand logistics platform. Many warehousing suppliers have an issue filling their areas. However they don’t wish to take care of small and medium enterprises that contain an excessive amount of follow-up and chasing invoices.
“Many SMEs do not need entry to correct warehousing as a result of they lack the amount. Nor are they good at negotiating charges. Even when they achieve this, they are going to be dedicated to long-term contracts, which may be very expensive.
“We serve folks primarily based on their wants — folks with overflow challenges, small volumes, or small companies who can’t negotiate offers however require storage options at a excessive commonplace — by way of our on-line platform. It’s a win-win for the warehouse operators and our shoppers,” he mentioned.
Logexa is now lively in Jeddah, Dammam, Riyadh, Khamis Mushait, Qassim and Rabigh, registering a gentle progress of 30 p.c month over month, beginning with 24 pallet positions to over 2,700 right this moment.
“We measure our efficiency on three points: variety of pallets we retailer, income and the variety of prospects,” added Sendi.
The corporate achieved $40,000 in income in March, $30,000 in April and $100,000 in Could. When it comes to shoppers, they began with 4 and now have 75.
The corporate goals to additional develop by way of providers, branching out into transport and last-mile supply, and geographically, with plans to launch in Egypt, Turkey and South Africa, amongst different territories.
The corporate’s fast progress, coupled with its sturdy enterprise mannequin, has attracted important funding. Their first funding spherical, in September 2021, introduced in $300,000 from Riyadh’s Seedra Ventures, with an additional smooth dedication of $1.3 million from an undisclosed supply in a second spherical that might be closing in June.
Sendi sees Saudi Arabia’s present enterprise local weather as ultimate for additional enlargement.
“Logexa permits each SMEs and huge firms to have entry to fast and versatile options,” he mentioned. “Saudi desires to grow to be the logistics hub of the world, and we’ve a digital answer that may assist prospects adapt whereas including nice worth to Imaginative and prescient 2030.”